Liam O’Brien has concluded his second consecutive weekend of racing at the ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Montreal, Canada.
As usual, the opening day of competition consisted of the qualification rounds. This weekend’s agenda for O’Brien included the 1500m (1) and 1000m distances. He was drawn in Heat of the 1500m (1) quarterfinals where he finished in 4th place with a time of 2:20.396. Shortly afterwards he was back racing in the 1000m preliminaries Heat 2 placing fifth in a time of 1:26.218 which represents a new Irish record.
O’Brien returned on Day Two for the 1500m (1) repechage quarterfinals. In a tough Heat 1, he ended up crossing the line in 5th place with a time of 2:28.816. His final classification for the distance was 40th as he rounded up his racing for the second day of competition.
O’Brien saved the best for last. In Heat 4 of the 1000m repechage quarterfinals, he was right in the thick the action when he was impeded by another skater. Although he only finished third in a time of 1:32.784 and outside of automatic qualification, he was advanced to the repechage semifinals after a review of the incident. He was assigned to Heat 1 of the repechage semifinals where he once more found himself infringed upon by a fellow competitor. Due to these circumstances, he was advanced to the World Cup session in the afternoon despite finishing his heat in fourth with a time of 1:35.138.
O’Brien drew Heat 1 of the 1000m quarterfinals and it turned out to be the quickest of the day. He raced hard to the end and wound up in fifth place in a time of 1:26.715. He finished in 18th place in the overall classification for the distance.
“Unfortunately, I was unable to capitalise on Day 1 of the World Cup and had to work my way through the repechage again,” O’Brien said. “Luck didn’t go my way in the 1500, but was happy I fought through the 1000m back into the main event. Also happy with a new PB in the 1000m. I now know the struggles of having to wake up early for the repechage and going forward hope to make it through the first day to get a sleep in before the main event.”
This season’s ISU World Cup moves to Asia with Beijing, China hosting the next stop from 8 December.